Unfortunately, F. Rene Modglin detailed the autopsy findings of Cheri Jo Bates incorrectly, when he labeled "incised wounds" as "lacerations" when describing the stab wounds to her torso. Therefore, we are presented with the injuries to her face as lacerations - and have to determine whether any of these wounds were caused by a knife blade or the mechanism of blunt force trauma, such as a hard object, punch or kick to the head, or from impact with the driveway floor. The analysis above shows that lacerations are commonly found over bony prominences and tend to be irregularly shaped with abraded margins. The three wounds described at autopsy (excluding the discoloration of the right lip) are found over the bony prominences of the zygomatic bone (cheekbone), the mentum (chin) and left side of the maxilla (upper jawbone}, where we have two accompanying abraded areas on the left cheek and chin, and an irregular (ragged edge) wound to her left upper lip. These wounds are all consistent with blunt force trauma, bearing in mind we have a dark blue-grey discoloration (probable bruising) present on the left cheek and chin. We have to discern whether these proposed blunt force injuries were caused through kicking (as claimed in the Confession letter), or by impact with the driveway floor.
The three subcutaneous lacerations to the left cheek of Cheri Jo Bates (2 cm, 2 cm and 0.5 cm) could easily have been caused by a tangential force created by the uneven, hard texture of the driveway floor against her skin as she was thrust face forward by the killer that night. After choking and stabbing her for a brief period, she was possibly manhandled to the ground by a force from behind. The chin had no lacerations, but had several fine line abrasions consistent with the movement of her face against the driveway floor. The injury to her left upper lip was described as a laceration through the thickness of her lip, without any apparent damage to her teeth. This wound is consistent with both a severe kick to the face, or contact with the ground.
The two most severe injuries to the face of Cheri Jo Bates were the two deep injuries to the left side, with one reaching the subcutaneous tissue of her cheek, and the other extending completely through her lip. We have to weigh up whether an injury of such magnitude to her left lip (without breaking or loosening the teeth) is more likely to have been created by direct impact with the ground, or a kick delivered across her face which made contact with her lip only - resulting in a shearing type force that created the 2 cm (0.8 inch) ragged edge wound described at autopsy. One might expect a full face impact that created such damage, to have caused some damage to her nose, upper brow and/or lower left lip - but none were mentioned in the autopsy report.
The author of the Confession letter described choking Cheri Jo Bates, which is consistent with the petechiae noted on her forehead. The brown Caucasian hairs which were found trapped in blood at the base of her right thumb is consistent with her being in close contact with the killer during the attack, grabbing his head hair, and wrenching the watch from his wrist (all of which are feasible if Cheri Jo Bates was being secured by a chokehold from behind), rather than a killer wildly attacking with a knife from the front and her retreating. The wound to her lip is consistent with a forceful, glancing blow from a clad foot (or fist), causing the jagged edge injury noted by F. Rene Modglin at autopsy. The author of the Confession letter mentioned that he "grabbed her around the neck with his hand over her mouth and his other hand with a small knife at her throat", and immediately followed this with "her breast felt very warm and firm under my hands", before saying "she died hard". This claimed contact by the author of the Confession letter as the attack began, is also consistent with the close grouping of three injuries to her breast region (and with all of the 5 wounds to her front torso and right arm, located above the breast line). In considering all of the above, do you think the Confession letter author had knowledge beyond what was printed in the newspapers - and as a result - was in the Riverside City College driveway on October 30th 1966?